Sunday, January 31, 2010

Warmth to go 'round

Isn't this the cutest thing you've seen in a while?! Here is one of my young friends sporting her new wristwarmers (knit with Berroco Vintage, side to side with short row shaping and a three needle bind off from Weekend Knitting) and her new Rozetti Cocoon scarf - a quick 1 hour knit & free pattern that is fun to do. Go play!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

One Skein, Two Projects

A matching set, the Eco Hat and Scarf, knit from one skein of Cascade Eco Wool - 478 yards! This yarn is so light and warm that I am already planning for an Eco Sweater. Cascade Eco Wool is environmentally friendly so knit green and go natural :)

So...which natural shade will I choose for the sweater? This yarn looks great in the seed stitch pattern...perhaps there will be some of the same detailing on the sweater. I need one of these hat and scarf sets for myself - warm sheep's wool - yum!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Knitting Excitement

Today I am excited about knitting and I can't wait to finish my sweater...even though it is a tiny sized one this time around. The first class of the First Time Sweater Workshop was this week and there was fun to be had and knitting to share.
I can't finish my sweater, even though I want to! I'm knitting along with everyone else so I can show them how to work each step. For this class, they are working the back of the sweater, the back decreasing, the front of sweater, the front decreasing and neck shaping.
Next class they will cast on for the first sleeve, work on sleeve increases and decreases, and repeat for the second sleeve.,
In the third class I will show them how to piece everything together with proper seaming techniques, picking up stitches for the collar and binding off! The process is wonderful, but sometimes I just want to rush ahead to completion. It's really hard to leave it unfinished. Besides this is such a glorious shade of red...I can't wait for next class!

Yarn: Berroco Vintage Yarn
Sweater Pattern: Yankee Knitter Roll Raglan Sweater Pattern #21 (pieces are for size 1 sweater)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Well, shake it up, baby, now!

Twist and Shout!

That's right, Malagrigo Twist is here, and we're SHOUTing it from the rooftops!
It's an awesome plied baby merino wool from Malabrigo. Barb lugged all the boxes upstairs the other day and had the awesome job of unloading it all! She couldn't resist... she had to take a skein home and start a project. She's making the 3x1 ribbed hat.
This hat, if you hide your ends nicely, is reversible!
Now how about that?Pattern is here, and free.
PLEASE NOTE: She's using 9 US needles and 80 stitches. You'll need to edit your decreases on this pattern to make it work.

Manos Crochet-ALong?

I had to share this great crochet project! It's from the latest issue of Knit Simple Magazine, and it's just gorgeous. It's done in Manos del Uruguay Wool Classica and if you want to make it as shown, we do stock all of the colors. But you know how much fun it is to mix and match those Manos shades... so we can help you pick out your own colors, if you'd like. (photo by Rose Callahan, Knit Simple Winter 09/10)

It's not a very portable project, that's for sure! But it is super easy and doesn't everyone need a basic granny square afghan?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New organic yarns & colors

This past week we've received some great new organic yarns.

1) O~Wool Balance is a super soft blend of 50% organic cotton and 50% organic wool in a worsted weight. We have 10 gorgeous colors. This yarn is the *perfect* choice for baby knitting. I have already started a cool baby project using 6 of these 10 colors. Hats, blankets, toys, sweaters, you name it. Baby will appreciate it!2) Four gorgeous new colors of Classic Elite Sprout. Sprout was new last year and is part of the Verde Collection. These four new colors are so spring-like, and are great for kids! Try the free pattern for the Sprout Tunic sweater in Classic Elite's Web-Letter, Issue 13, or this sweater and hat set, another free pattern from Classic Elite's Web-Letter, Issue 94.3) Classic Elite Katydid Ribbon is a new organic cotton ribbon. It's a heavy worsted weight and is very soft and light and is available in 5 great colors. I usually do not like ribbon yarns like this, but I knew immediately that this was one I'd love. I can't wait to try it!Come on in and check these out!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Manic-In Monday

This week's outfit is another oldie but goodie... for a variety of reasons.

1) It's a hoodie. I love hoodies. I own a number of hoodies. Do I ever wear the hood? No. But if you gave me a choice of two sweaters, one with a hood & one without... I'd choose the one with the hood.

2) It's long. Do you know how cold it can be up here in VT? Last year I switched my daily outerwear. I went from a short down jacket to a long down jacket. That extra layer of warmth around my bum and legs makes such a difference! I love long sweaters too for this very reason. It's like having a portable throw... your legs are covered up at your desk. Much easier than toting a lap blanket around the office.

3) It's stylish. The stitch patterning (cables, bobbles & bumps!) and edgings on this sweater are simply gorgeous. And the drape of this baby? WOW!

Sweater: Parchesi Vest from Berroco Book 264; knit with Berroco Peruvia yarn
Scarf: Funky and quick, knit from 2 skeins of On-Line Pike

Friday, January 22, 2010

6th grade sweater

Once of our local customers, Janet B., has been custom knitting for her grandson, Caleb, for years. When I say custom, I mean "custom".

She makes him a sweater each year, and lets him do all the designing. He picks out the style, the colors, the pattern, everything. Caleb may just have a future in design! Each year we are awed at what he comes up with, and equally amazed that Janet reproduces his sketches with such incredible skill.

This was the sketch Caleb gave Janet for his "6th Grade Sweater."

Janet was a little worried about recreating those zigs and zags. A friend gave her some advice, and told her to just do the body of the sweater in pattern and work the sleeves plain. But Caleb's design did not include plain sleeves, so Janet knew that wouldn't fly.

She and Caleb came into the shop late this summer to look for yarn for the sweater. He had his drawing with him, and he knew exactly what he wanted. I talked with Caleb about the design. He was very specific about the stripes, and how wide he wanted them to be. He also knew exactly how wide the white separating stripe should be.

I talked with Janet and gave her some ideas on how to graph this out so it would work. She took all of this information home with her, along with a basic sweater pattern, and three colors of Berroco Vintage (approved by Caleb, of course!) She put the design into a graph format, and look what she came up with!

Wow, Caleb! We love your sweater. What an awesome design. We can't wait to see what you come up with next year! (And Janet... GREAT job!)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Spend some, get some!

Now through Sunday, January 24th at midnight EST, anyone who spends $100* either online or in the shop, will get a $20 gift certificate.

The shop is closed Sunday, but remember - locals can order online.

No coupon code needed for online orders. Your $20 gift certificate will be shipped with your order.

*$100 before sales tax

Double Helix Knitting, anyone?

wikipedia says:
In geometry, a double helix is a pair of parallel helices intertwined about a common axis. The term "double helix" is commonly encountered in molecular biology, where it refers to the structure of DNA. The DNA double helix is a right-handed spiral polymer of nucleic acids, held together by nucleotides which base pair together.
Um. Okay, yeah. I relate much better to this:
It's a free pattern on Ravelry called Baby's First DNA model, and it's a great toy to knit for that next baby gift you find yourself needing. Sure, you can make a hat, a blanket, even a baby sweater. But this is WAY cooler. Emily knit this with Spud & Chloe Sweater. It's soft and the colors are great. Lucky baby!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Upcoming Lace Class

I have always loved to knit lace. And it's not always thin yarn and small needles! But this time it was. Ever since we got the madelinetosh Tosh Lace, I have wanted to make something with it. It's so pretty and soft. I have a folder of patterns at my desk that intrigue me and so I looked through it and the Kiwassa Shawl pattern by Gardiner Yarn Works jumped out. It was perfect for this yarn.

After about 2 rows I realized my regular Addi Turbo needles were not quite pointy enough for the job, so I switched to the Addi Turbo Lace needles. These were fantastic! The tips are so sharp, and worked really well on all those k2tog, ssk, etc. By this past Saturday, I only had 4 rows left on the shawl. I knew I'd finish it Saturday night, and be left without a knitting project for Sunday. Without a knitting project, I am forced to clean, and that's a lot less fun! Since my upcoming lace class offers a choice of two patterns (and one is the Kiwassa shawl!) I figured I'd knit up the second option for folks to see.

I'd been working in the shop on Saturday and I was inspired by all the projects our customers were buying or showing us during the day. The madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the Afternoon color was catching my eye all day. So I grabbed it and took it home, along with the Midnight Lace Scarf pattern by Gardiner Yarn Works. This is the other pattern that people can choose to knit in my lace class. It's such a great pattern and is going to be beautiful in this yarn. The beauty of this scarf is that not only does it involve lace, but it also has a cable pattern. It's a very good place to start for a less experienced knitter.

Come in to the shop to check out these beautiful lace pieces. And sign up for my lace class!

Manic-in Monday

This week's sweater uses an incredible yarn that is often overlooked. Here's the description from the manufacturer's website:

A shining jewel in the fall line, this single ply Peruvian wool and Tencel blend is a lightweight affordable luxury. With generous yardage and a silk-like gleam, this yarn boasts a striking palette and soft hand.

We couldn't agree more! It's lightweight, it's got a whopping 197 yards, it's incredibly soft, and it has the most beautiful gleam... If you're not up for making a sweater right now (though this one is SO cute!) go to ravelry and check out all the projects people have made with this yarn. Hats, scarves, shawls, toys, gloves, bags, you name it! Seeing what other folks have made with a yarn is really inspiring. Check it out!

Sweater: Lexeme Cardigan from Berroco Book 289: Lustra knit with Berroco Lustra yarn
Scarf: Gorgeous lace scarf - lightweight, yet warm. Knit with Lang Alpaca Superlight (this is machine washable!) from the Fiber Trends Oak Leaf & Acorn Scarf Pattern AC#41
Bag: Offhand Designs Gatsby Bag in the beautiful Plaza fabric

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Baby Sweater Parade

India was in the other day with some adorable baby sweaters she was finishing up. She said a number of her husband's co-workers were having babies, and that's where these cute sweaters were going! They weren't quite finished when she was here, so I asked her to take pictures for me at home when she finished them, so I could share on the blog.
Here they are... first up is the Baby Surprise Sweater, using Regia Landscape Sock. I love the colors on this one! The second sweater is Sirdar pattern #1802, and is very cute. It's knit in Debbie Bliss Rialto DK. You won't get bored with this one; there are three different stitch patterns throughout the sweater.
And finally my favorite kids pattern ever (Sirdar pattern #1864), also made up in Rialto DK (this is a great baby yarn, folks!) This pattern all the way up to a 6-7 year size...
That's three lucky babies!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Swatching, swatching, swatching

You read that correctly, this week finds me making swatches. I am getting things ready for our Knitting Tips and Tricks class this afternoon so I've been working up examples.

This class is full, and filled up quickly! Sorry! We'll be offering it again soon so stay tuned.

We do have some other great classes going right now, so take a moment to peruse the list of other possible classes that we have scheduled through the end of February.

I am looking forward to many of the technique classes and wish that it were possible to attend them all myself. It is always so much fun to get together with other people who enjoy knitting and share knowledge and learn a little something to improve my knitting skills.

I'm really looking forward to the First Time Sweater (now full) and the Quincy Hat classes because these are project based and it will be fun to have a 'knit along' for both of these projects. I might even be tempted to start the Kiwassa Shawl because Barb has been working on it for the Beginning Lace class, and it's really cooL! I just LOVE the Madeline Tosh Lace that she is using to work it up.

If lace isn't your thing, join Emily for the Toe-up Sock class or Suzie for Mittens on Double Pointed Needles or Barb for Finishing Techniques: Seams. We look forward to seeing you in class!

Friday, January 15, 2010

WANTED: CraftyHedgehog

Yesterday I was looking on Ravelry to find a link for a pattern that Emily had just finished (I'll be posting it tomorrow.)

I came across some of her photos of finished projects, couldn't stop laughing when I saw this picture: When Emily comes in to the shop each morning at 8:30am, we hear her before we see her. We hear the opening and closing of the back door, the boot stomping (for snow removal!) and then the footsteps coming up the stairs.

Each day, our first glimpse of Emily is the same... she's totally bundled up and wearing her awesome striped hat. This hat is adorable and super warm, made with Spud & Chloe Outer.
Because it's my first vision of Emily every day, it's how I would picture her if were to I close my eyes. But Emily's always smiling, and she's NOT smiling in these pictures! That's why I found it so funny. (I know though, that it's HARD to smile when you're photographing yourself!)
I feel like I'm looking at a mug shot, of... I don't know, a serial knitter?
Some days you just need a chuckle. And yesterday, Emily delivered. Thanks Emily!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


One of our local customers wrote to us about a week before Christmas. She wrote:

I thought I'd share a picture of one of the SnoBuddies I made. I sent the first one to my brother and sister-in-law and they quickly requested the entire family of snow buddies. Well, this is the second installment. We'll see about the others!

They've been great fun to knit -- that is with the exception of knitting teeny, tiny mittens. I'd never knit mittens before so starting with such tiny ones was a bit of a challenge. I was determined though and after many, many tries I finally got it!

On to the next knitting project!
Nikki B.

We all love to see finished projects, and this one drew many oooohs and aaaahs. I had every intention of posting it that very day to share with all of you, but well, you know how it is with intentions...

I've also seen some great SnoBuddies on Ravelry recently, again, knit by a few of our customers. We're sure they were well received holiday gifts!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Next Noro project

Well, it's certainly nothing special or out of the ordinary, but that's okay. Sometimes you need a break from a current knitting project (one that is lace, on size 2 needles and makes your hands ache) and this is my "break" project.It's Noro Taiyo (new for us a few weeks ago) and I just love this yarn! Mostly cotton and silk (with a touch of wool and nylon thrown in), this yarn is really quite soft. And colorful, of course.

I'm doing a stupidly simple baby blanket, from the center out, with 8 increases (2 at each corner) every other row. Could it get any easier? Not really. Oh, and I threw in a teeny bit of reverse stockinette, you know... so I wouldn't fall out of my chair from boredom.

So far, so good. I know if I had a baby now, I'd want one of these!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Manic-in Monday

I've recently started a knitting project with a Noro yarn, and at night when I go to bed and close my eyes, I have gorgeous stripes imprinted on the backs of my eyelids. It's a lovely treat, especially since outside it's mostly white, grey and brown!

This week's sweater is a great staple to add to any wardrobe. It's a nice deep v-neck with a slightly cropped length (make it longer if you'd like!) and nicely done pockets. A nice lightweight scarf in a super soft cashmere will keep that neck warm.
My thoughts:
I just LOVE how the Noro stripes do NOT match up on cardigans.
If you're super anal about being matchy-matchy with your stripes,
go with a pullover or use a different yarn.

Sweater: Design #3 in Noro Collection 3, Jenny Watson Designs, knit with Noro Kureyon yarn (sorry, this color has just been discontinued!) The pattern calls for Noro Silk Garden, so go with whichever one you like best.

Here it is pictured in the Noro Silk Garden:

Saturday, January 09, 2010

New Noro Knit to Wear

Just the other day we recieved this new sample from Noro and I LOVE IT! I'm so glad that it fits me because now I can wear it here at the shop to show off the gorgeous colors in the Noro Silk Garden yarn.
This is Design Y844 from Noro Volume 26 - a great textured and entrelac project. I just may be wearing it next time you stop in....

Friday, January 08, 2010

Winding up 2009

So in the past couple of days I have identified all the yarn in my house that is going into a project for 2010, and I've been winding it up. It's a good thing I have a ball winder and a swift or it would have taken me much longer!

Sorting and winding have taken on a contemplative air and I'm getting excited about some of the projects that I have planned. There are more pairs of socks than I can realistically finish knitting in a year - but hey the first pair I have planned are slipper socks in magenta and lime from Berocco Vintage so they should knit a bit faster as it is worsted weight yarn.

I wound a bunch of yarn I'm using in an afghan project. I was having such a good time winding and organizing that I even re-wound several skeins of Noro Silk Garden destined for a scarf and Noro Taiyo that I just couldn't resist taking home from the shop. (Those Noro yarns can certainly benefit from a whirl on the ballwinder!)

I topped off my work with a gorgeous shade of Manos Wool Classica for more of CraftyHedgehog's Frog Princes..

Now that I've 'wound up' 2009, I'm all set for knitting in 2010 :)

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Things for babies

I blocked the OpArt baby blanket last night. This blanket is so neat! One of our sample knitters made it for us after Shawn dug up the free pattern from the Fall 2008 Knitty.
It looks amazing in high contrast colors (red & white, black & white) but if your nursery doesn't allow for those, it also looks great in many other colors. I had a hard time choosing the sample colors, but in the end I went with the bold red & white in Berroco Comfort DK. If I had to make a baby gift right now, this would be it!

I'm still plugging away on my Canopy Fingering Sweater... it's taking a while - I've been having some issues with my right hand, and the needles are tiny, so it's a bit slow going. It is precious though!

Manic-in Monday

It's becoming the norm to post Manic-in Monday outfits on Tuesdays. That's because Mondays are truly MANIC in the shop, and yesterday was no exception! There's always a post-holiday buzz down in the shop, and when we have yarns on sale online, shipping is hopping all day.

We had the most gorgeous dumpage of snow this weekend. At my house in Williston, we had about 6" during the day Saturday, with another 18" overnight, and it continued throughout the day Sunday, giving us at least another 6-8" bringing the total to over 30"! Lots of snow means lots of shoveling, and many of us are still feeling the effects of all that snow clearing in our aching arms, shoulders and backs.

I wasn't sure what our mannequin would be wearing when I arrived at the shop yesterday morning, but I was pleased to see that she followed up her fancy-pants outfit from last week with more sensible handknits, that are perfect for the task-at-hand... shoveling.
She chose a timeless sweater that shows she's a true Vermonter (yay, Green Mountain Spinnery!) and some warm felted mitts and a super thick earflap hat. She's proof that you can look great even while doing the most mundane of chores.

Shovel: Garant Alpine Series snow shovel, available at your local Aubuchon